You tell me, is this normal?
So I thought this week was going to turn out great. I mean, it started a little rough Sunday morning when the Packers decided not to show up again, but as soon as that debacle was over, Sunday Funday commenced, and we all know how much I love Sunday Fundays. The great thing about this Sunday, however, was that it involved the Manhattan Beach Holiday Fireworks show. So the usual crowd congregated at Shellbacks and dug in for the festivities. If you've never seen me around fireworks, let me tell you that I'm like a little kid watching them. I love fireworks. I digress. Well, the fireworks were fantastic, and the evening was continued both at Shellbacks and Poncho's karaoke (I have to take a moment to toss Matt Runyon a shout-out...nobody rocks Seal's Kissed By a Rose quite like you).
Well, Monday morning rolled around, time to get back to base right? First and foremost, let me say that Californians cannot drive in any sort of inclement weather to save their lives. So driving down the 10 was a lesson in keeping your cool. Then, as I'm driving up US-62 the rain became snow. Want to watch people freak out? Drive through California in a snow storm. Obviously, some semi-truck decided to jack knife by Yucca Valley, causing me to sit in traffic for 5 hours...stand still. A total of 9 hours in my car on Monday.
So I'm sitting in my car, waiting to get through the wreck, watching my gas gauge slowly claw its way towards E. Eventually it hits, and my car dings at me. I look at the screen and it says I have 67 miles left on the tank. Some quick math and I figure that the closest gas station is only 9 miles up the road, no problem. Except, unbeknownst to me, I had 4 hours of idle time left. I rolled into the gas station with 7 miles on the tank.
So then I get out to pump the gas. I hate going inside, so I'm gonna pay outside. Open the wallet and....NOPE. No credit card. What possibly could have happened? Oh yeah, Poncho's Karaoke- Coronas, margaritas, Runyan serenading me, things got weird. Must have left the tab open.... Nothing I can do now. $22 to my name, gotta make it stretch.
Get on base. Things to do, things to do. I'm going to go get my medals mounted for the Ball we're having in January. Okay, now where did I put my medals from last year??? I had them in storage... nowhere to be found. I mean, I bought the ones from this year, but where are last year's? Not only do I not want to buy them again, but, I soon realize, I have no way to buy them this year if I have to.
Okay, so I realize cash flow may be my biggest issue for the week. US Bank, gotta find one of those. Yucca Valley? Nope. Palm Springs? Nope. Palm Desert? Bingo. I hop in the car and drive the hour to Palm Desert. Plot the address in my navigation thingy, and it cruises me into some residential neighborhood, complete with kids getting off a school bus. No US Bank here. Plot in the second address, it takes me to a business park... negative ghost man, the pattern is full. I say to myself, "maybe technology is failing me, I'll check the yellow pages." So I stop at a gas station, get a number, call it, here "...number has been disc-".
Steam is literally coming out of my ears.
Boom. Everyone's leave papers are done wrong.
Boom. My flight home through Chicago is probably already cancelled.
Boom. I spill spaghetti sauce on my shirt.
Then today is "Show up at 6 am for classes on crazy/drinking/spousal abuse/STDs/crazy/DUIs" day. Sweet. Six hours of classes later, all of which go something like this-
"Hey Marines! I know we're all heroes, but let me tell you what, heroes don't drink/go crazy/drive fast/beat their wives..."
"Don't be stupid"
yada yada yada.
So then I get out of this auditorium, and of all things, there is 5 inches of snow on the ground, and its still dumping on us. This is the DESERT. Where am I, and how do I get out?